One of the most painful conditions that we treat is gout, which is the oldest known type of arthritis.
The good news is that most patients have it within their power to prevent gout recurrences by eating healthier and taking care of themselves.
This painful affliction is caused by the build up of uric acid in the blood, which forms when the body breaks down purines.
The acid typically dissolves and is eliminated in the urine, but for some it will build up and form tiny crystals that lead to inflammation in the toes, feet and knees. These joints may become red, hot and so painful that even the touch of a sheet or sock is unbearable. Gout attacks can become more severe and longer-lasting with each incident.
But there’s good news: You can almost always control gout with a proper diet.
The most common risk factors are being:
- drinking alcohol
- Having high cholesterol or eating lots of meat
Gout is particularly associated with rich foods like cream sauces, red meat, beer and red wine. It can also be brought on by certain medications such as water pills, niacin, aspirin and some cancer drugs.
Men under 65 are four times more likely than women of the same age to experience gout, but only three times more likely after age 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s because women’s risk of gout increases after menopause.
If you suffer from gout, you need to eat properly and cut back on alcohol. Focus more on vegetables, healthy starches and lean meat like chicken and fish, reduce your intake of red meat, and avoid drinking alcohol.
If you are experiencing a gout attack, call our office right away at 859-264-1411, or make an online appointment. There are medications that can significantly shorten the attack. If left untreated, you could be in pain for several days or maybe even weeks.